PAS must win Sungai Bakap to prove GE15 ‘wave’ still strong, says analyst

PAS must win Sungai Bakap to prove GE15 ‘wave’ still strong, says analyst

PAS must win Sungai Bakap to prove GE15 ‘wave’ still strong, says analyst
PAS won 43 federal seats at the 15th general election, becoming Perikatan Nasional’s largest representative party in Parliament. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Although the coming by-election in Sungai Bakap is unlikely to affect the state administration in Penang, the onus is on PAS to prove its growing influence ahead of the 16th general election by winning the seat, an analyst says.

Lau Zhe Wei of International Islamic University Malaysia said PAS, which holds the seat, has a heavy task ahead in retaining the 43 parliamentary seats it won in GE15 while keeping hold of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.

He said the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election last month, in which Perikatan Nasional (PN) was represented by PAS ally Bersatu, was not an accurate gauge of public support for the Islamic party.

“In Sungai Bakap, which has many Malay voters and is rather rural, the issue is whether PAS can maintain the momentum of its support. If it weakens, it could affect (the party’s) chances in GE16.

“That is why there is great pressure on PN, particularly PAS, to win a seat and prove its strength after GE15,” Lau told FMT.


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He also advised PAS against relying on public sentiment towards the performance of Sungai Bakap incumbent Nor Zamri Latiff over the past nine months.

He said a representative’s track record would not have much influence on voting unless it was spotless and the person in question was “so perfect that no one will reject his statements”.

PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad had said last Friday that Nor Zamri’s record as an assemblyman would be an advantage for PN.

Related video: Sungai Bakap assemblyman passes away at 56 (Dailymotion)

Nor Zamri, the Nibong Tebal PAS division chief, defeated Pakatan Harapan candidate Nurhidayah Che Rose in the last state election by a 1,563-vote majority.

He died on May 24 after being admitted to Seberang Jaya Hospital on May 1 for stomach inflammation.

The Election Commission is scheduled to meet this Thursday to determine the dates for candidate nomination and voting.

Meanwhile, National Council of Professors fellow Azmi Hassan said PN may experience a decline in support as it had in Kuala Kubu Baharu unless it manages to rouse voters’ spirits.

“Although the results (in Sungai Bakap) will not have any effect on the state government, they will depict the strength of (PN’s) ‘green wave’ after its defeat in the last by-election,” he said.

PAS must win Sungai Bakap to prove GE15 ‘wave’ still strong, says analyst




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